Henry Shires @ Bay – Cool Clothes

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So much to cover and such a small amount of lycra with which to cover it.

I could use a whole novella at least to do justice to the curiosities and curate’s eggs that the last 8 fun-and-fabulous-new-finds weeks that life has very kindly afforded me.

To paraphrase the description from the fascinating, if not quite so fantastically crafted, recently released, largely St Kilda based “The Ballroom: The STKMW 80's_CMYKMelbourne Punk and Post-Punk Scene”, by that delightful oracle of local rock Dolores San Miguel (See the review by my better half and ex St Kilda rock chicklette, Louise Avery, in this very edition), of becoming addicted to the anti-anxiety medication Xanax: “sometimes life can be almost too good”.

So, if you have ever lived in or anywhere near the great St Kilda, have the slightest passing interest in any eon of Aussie Rock from Sharpie to its present day multiplicity, and have not yet attended the inimitable (but very interestingly in his self-penned autobiographical strip on the inside covers of Dolores’s book, also apparently somewhat of an proto ‘nerd punk’!) Fred Negro’s rock n’ punk pedestrian road trip that is The St Kilda Music Walking Tour (www.skmwt.com.au), then you should make a note to go on the next one available – Taking your loved ones and/or other of your retinue with you!

And, while on a musical, albeit an equally specialist, bent, as ever when the need arises the master appears. In this case the ex-Guinness Book of Records holder and master trainer of the arcane art of ‘throat and overtone singing’ Dean Frenkel (magicsounds@icloud.com); what Dean cannot do with voice and didgeridoo for the optimization of breathing (and living for that matter) probably cannot be done.

In one short lesson I have already discovered a twisted tangle between my beleaguered breathing, compromised if not yet entirely broken, heart and my supressed and long suffering spirit. Watch this space through the coming year for further personal developments from this mighty new modality.

And last but most definitely not least (unless my increasingly sieve like intellect has omitted anyone or anything, in which case, please, please, email me at henryshires@gmail.com to reboot my bonce!): where are the eponymous ‘Cool Clothes’ I hear your all, as one, exclaim.

Ah, there you will see the very essence of my craft (Dolores take note), a delightful word play or bon (Scott?) mot, if you will, I have cunningly contrived for your ultimate delectation.

For, in fact, the ‘Cool Clothes’ of the title in do not refer exclusively to the ripples of last year’s superb Melynda Von Wayward helmed punk shenanigans at St Kilda’s Brightspace Gallery.

No, in fact, they owe their significance to the potentially literally life-saving body cooling clothing and accessories assembled by the eminently helpful Personal Cooling Products.

In both of my secret (well not so secret now I guess!) identities as a school crossing supervisor and as a professional Santa, these highly effective cooling, while also super ‘cool’ in the hipster sense (camo and animal print for instance!), Neck Tie Coolers and Chill Sleeves have certainly saved my ability to continue to bring home the bacon while not at the same time becoming a crispy version of the same.

Though again, if my experience of Melbourne’s floridly schizophrenic micro climate has any validity, February; in UK the most frozen and here the most boiling month of the year, will be the ultimate test.

So again, keep watching the skies, but even more importantly also this space!


Henry Shires is also the Adults Creative Writing Tutor for Port Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre www.pmnc.org.au/index.php/education/creative-writing, www.thewriteclub.org

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